Hillary Clinton is the putative front runner in the 2016 presidential nomination for the Democrat party; however, many pundits are questioning whether or not Clinton might be bad for the Democrats, should she decide to run. Since she has not actually announced her candidacy, there are many younger Democrats who might want to seek the nomination, in her stead. Naturally, the perceived wisdom of a Clinton candidacy is supposed to be a foregone conclusion. However, Hillary Clinton, with her husband Bill, represents a two decades old political house, which is known for “sucking up all the oxygen” in the political room.
Moreover, Mrs. Clinton will be the same age as Ronald Reagan was, when he first ran. 70 years old, to be precise. Which, according to popular media, makes a person far too old to run the country. The Republicans will be offering a host of politically experienced, but vigorously young, popular candidates. Gone are the days of “Grandpa” McCain, and “silver temples” Romney. Today’s Republican presidential hopefuls are a group of well spoken, savvy, aesthetically pleasing young men who do not have nearly so detrimental a record as Clinton carries with her.
If Clinton runs in 2016, the Republicans have 25 plus years of bad press and damaging innuendo to hold against her. Perhaps even 50 years, if they bring up why she was fired from the Watergate investigation team.
None of which is to say Mrs. Clinton would not be a viable candidate for the Democrat party. Her obvious popularity with women and minorities, her name recognition, her experience as a senator and Secretary of State; all of those serve well in her plus column. However, the laundry list of negatives which Clinton brings to the presidential nomination, will offer the Republicans a wide field of fire. For that reason alone, many within the Tea Party are sincerely hopeful for a Clinton candidacy.
Of course, for the tens of thousands of Democrats in the “Hillary Clinton camp,” she is assumed to be a shoo-in candidate who will enjoy landslides à la Reagan. Unfortunately for them and all of the other Clinton hopefuls within the Democrat party, she may be a bad choice, anyway.
Mrs. Clinton seems to be taking a page from Obama’s candidacy book; she has failed to make her stance clear on a number of very important issues. In September 2013 for instance, at a speech in Philadelphia, Clinton was asked how she might bring balance to “liberty versus security” where government surveillance and individual privacy were concerned. She spoke briefly on the importance of balance, yet provided no serious plans for how that balance might be achieved — in spite of direct question put to her on the matter. Was that political posturing, or does she seriously not have any plans in place?
The list of Clinton sins, both Bill and Hillary’s, is enough to be any political pundit’s meat and potatoes through all of 2016. From her Watergate firing through the Rose Law Firm debacle, all the way up to “what difference does it make?” The conservative wing of the Republican Party has more ammo to shoot at Hillary Clinton than they do at virtually any other candidate the Democrats might put forth.
If the Democrats seriously want to win the presidency again in 2016, they may have to recognize that Hillary Clinton can be very bad for the party. None of which will stop them from running her, anyway.
Commentary By Ben Gaul
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